Cuyahoga Falls — A 150-pound, 5-foot-7 teenager had collected materials needed to make a bomb, was making plans to buy guns and wrote in a journal that he had been plotting to kill people for years, according to a criminal complaint filed at the end of January in federal court.
He was indicted Wednesday on federal charges alleging he attempted to use an explosive device at Cuyahoga Falls High School and that he made threats toward a Kansas elementary school.
Allen Martin Kenna, 18, is charged with attempted use of an explosive device and interstate communication of threats, according to a news release issued Friday by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
He was stopped after a school custodian saw him after hours on Jan. 6 walking through Cuyahoga Falls High School videotaping the building on one of several visits to the school.
Video surveillance showed Kenna carrying "a handheld electronic device … with which he appeared to film the school hallways, in particular hallway intersections, stairways, and exits," the complaint stated. Kenna could be heard on the clips making comments about the location of doors, and hallways.
In a search of Kenna’s home, police seized materials federal officials said were sufficient to make an explosive device, the complaint stated, including electronic devices, a box with Christmas lights, 9 volt batteries, electrical tape, matches, and road flares, firearm magazines, ammunition, and knives.
Kenna is in Summit County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 21 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.
"Law enforcement takes seriously all concerns about potentially violent individuals, but where we have specific, credible threats of violence against the public, especially in our schools, we will act swiftly and with appropriate federal charges," stated U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman in Friday’s release.
Noah Munyer, Kenna’s attorney, said his client is a "young man with no record who has been charged with some very serious counts and we will be vigorously defending him."
Munyer emphasized that Kenna is "innocent until proven guilty," and asked for "privacy for the family. This is a difficult time."
School officials identified Kenna from the surveillance video and Kenna was arrested Jan. 9 following a search of his home, charging him with making a terroristic threat and criminal trespassing, and taken to county jail on Jan. 9.
The federal complaint states police found six to eight other videos that Kenna made at the school after school hours or during walks on school grounds and talks about the "physical layout and logistics of entering and moving in the school." In another video, Kenna discussed putting an explosive device below a window at the high school, "detonate the explosive as a diversion, then move on to the ‘real target.’"
Police also found several photos of Stow-Munroe Falls High School and one photo of a class of children who appeared to be in second grade surrounding a Stow police officer.
In an electronic diary police found and quoted in the complaint, Kenna said he had been thinking of killing people for years.
In one journal excerpt, Kenna talked about knowing someone who could get guns for him. In a subsequent entry, he talks about wanting "to take violent action" such as "mowing down a crowd of 30 or so," and "bomb places and set buildings and people on fire."
The last excerpt was from Jan. 4.
"I'm constantly thinking about the most efficent [sic] ways to bring the most death to as many people as I can, when I'm in public, its mostly random people, and when I'm at home its mostly my family. I've always had these thoughs [sic] as long as I can remember, they used to be just about my family, then I started to include other people with my family."
According to the complaint, an unidentified individual who knew Kenna told authorities that Kenna "frequently brought up the topic of historical mass shootings, and would make comments such as ‘I can see why he did it,’ as well as discuss how the individual ‘got away with it,’ or discuss why the shooting worked or didn’t work."
The complaint also alleged that Kenna asked the unidentified individual for details about where the Cuyahoga Falls High School Resource Officer was located, where exits were located and how large the crowd was at lunch time.
The complaint states results of internet searches found on Kenna’s phone included topics such as historical mass shootings, schools in the vicinity of Cuyahoga Falls — including Lincoln Elementary and Stow-Munroe Falls High School, Cuyhaoga Falls Police Department personnel, research into firearms and weapons handling tactics, explosives and other topics.
Kenna is also charged with making threatening communications to a Kansas elementary school. Kenna is alleged to have called the Fort Riley Sheriff’s Office and claimed he was holding a hostage inside of the school and that he would injure any person attempting to enter the school in response to this threat.
The complaint cited a Nov. 13, 2019 journal entry regarding that incident in which Kenna stated "Oh, also, lee elementary school in manhattan kansas. lol, that was fun, these news outlets are stupid though they got like everything wrong and stuff. Said I did it for notoriety, well why would I try to hide my identey [sic] then? Lol. I mean I guess it could possible get me notoriety in the long run, but I was just bored, thats all."
An FBI agent who worked on the case praised the efforts of various parties that resulted in charges being brought against Kenna.
"Thanks to the awareness of private citizens and the hard work of our law enforcement partners, what could have been a horrific and tragic day was stopped," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.